Percy's Reliques - Dulcina.

Dulcina.

            Given from two ancient copies, one in black-print, in the Pepys Collection, the other in the Editor's folio manuscript. Each of these contained a stanza not found in the other. What seemed the best readings were selected from both.

            This song is quoted as very popular in Walton's Compleat Angler, chap. 2. It is more ancient than the ballad of Robin Good-Fellow, printed below, which yet is supposed to have been written by Ben Jonson.

As at noone Dulcina rested
In her sweete and shady bower,
Came a shepherd, and requested
In her lapp to sleepe an hour.
But from her looke
A wounde he tooke
Soe deepe, that for a further boone
The nymph he prayes,
Wherto shee sayes,
"Forgoe me now, come to me soone."

But in vayne shee did conjure him
To depart her presence soe;
Having a thousand tongues to allure him
And but one to bid him goe:
Where lipps invite,
And eyes delight,
And cheeks, as fresh as rose in June,
Persuade delay;
What boots she say,
"Forgoe me now, come to me soone?"

He demands what time for pleasure
Can there be more fit than now:
She sayes, "Night gives love that leysure,
Which the day can not allow."
He says, "The sight
Improves delight."
Which she denies:
"Nights mirkie noone
In Venus' playes
Makes bold," shee sayes;
"Forgoe me now, come to me soone."

But what promise or profession
From his hands could purchase scope?
Who would sell the sweet possession
Of such beautye for a hope?
Or for the sight
Of lingering night
Forgoe the present joyes of noone?
Though ne'er soe faire
Her speeches were,
"Forgoe me now, come to me soone."

How, at last, agreed these lovers?
Shee was fayre, and he was young:
The tongue may tell what th' eye discovers;
Joyes unseene are never sung.
Did shee consent,
Or he relent?
Accepts he night, or grants shee noone?
Left he her a mayd
Or not? she sayd
"Forgoe me now, come to me soone."

 

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